Finally after weeks of arguments over the national anthem protests, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally said what millions of Americans have wanted to hear. That he’d had enough.
In a memo to the league’s team owners, Goodell stated:
“We believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem” and that the league wanted “to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.”
As can be expected, the reversal didn’t go over so well with those that have taken a liking to either kneeling or sitting through the national anthem. One player in particular decided to speak openly about it. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Although McCoy has never actively participated in the protesting himself, he did have a few choice words to make, seeming to promise in all layman’s terms, a revolt.
“If you take (protesting the anthem) away from them, there’s gonna be an uproar,” McCoy told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“I don’t think guys are gonna like it. I think it’s gonna be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away.”
It is my guess that McCoy, and the others, still need a few facts pointed out to them.
Lets start with Freedom of Speech. Regardless of the fact that it is protected by the constitution, it can still get you fired, both in and out of the workplace. We have all heard stories about people losing their jobs for openly bashing their workplace or having inappropriate profiles on Facebook. We also can come to the conclusion that it would not be a grand idea to come to work on dress-down Friday in a pair of leather chaps with the rear cut out.
Secondly, the “uproar” has already started over the national anthem. The last time I checked, NFL fan’s themselves, the same fans that pay Mr. McCoy’s salary, have made it known that they, among other Americans, do not agree with the protestors and aren’t likely to come into the stands on Super Bowl Sunday with great big apology signs. I hate to break reality to him, but I seriously think that those stands are going to be pretty empty.
Third, some views you just do not share with your fans. This goes for the acting community as well as the sports community. When I go to see a movie, I do not expect the actors to open the movie with a speech about their political views. I want to watch the movie that I paid for. The same goes for when I decide to take in a football, basketball, baseball, or hockey game. I expect to come and see the game that I paid for. Not some jack a** kneeling over on the sidelines, or sitting on a bench, while our national anthem is playing. Spoiler Alert: Angering those that make your paycheck is not a wise idea for business practices.
And last but not least, when these NFL players signed contracts to play, this was included:
A62-63 of the NFL League Rule book:
“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face to the flag, hold helmets in the left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition…It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
Although I am sure they all knew this rule exists, failure to read over the rules before you sign a contract is not a valid excuse.
I hate to break it to you McCoy, but any further protesting brought out onto the field is only going to hurt the NFL’s fan base further. That fact alone should be enough for the protestors of our national anthem to wake up and smell the coffee, unless they want to see stands, and their paychecks, dwindle even more. After all, a broke NFL can’t pay the players of the NFL.
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